French Tree Improvements Produce Frustration

I have been reading through complaints about the new French tree. Many people feel they have lost all their progress and have to repeat all the basic lessons. I did not find that to be the case.

At first, I was confused. I thought I had to redo all sorts of basic stuff. Then, I scrolled down and clicked on the checkpoint. It said completed. I did this five times until I reached where I left off. Sprinkled within each section were lessons I had completed, each at level 3. Relief. I have not lost anything.

The next issue is change in strategy. My initial approach was to go straight down the tree taking each lesson to level 3. Obviously, the stuff above the first checkpoint is not worth my time doing. However, I have looked at some of the other material and it is quite good. For instance, the information section on Paris informs me that Paris is divided into 30 districts and how that relates to the addresses. I found the information area was easier to read.

Personally, I like to do things in some sort of measurable order. I think my approach will be to at least read the information in each section below the first checkpoint, sample a lesson or two. I can evaluate if I feel the need to go further. I don't have to reach a level since the next checkpoint is already completed. I will continue this way until I reach where I left off. Then, I will just complete each section to level 3, providing duolingo does not reorganize the tree again.

These languages are a work in progress and this particular update, in my opinion, is progress. The prior version moved too fast and did not provide enough basic information before delving into complex tenses. I give this update a thumbs up.

March 28, 2019


I agree with you, it is a very nice update! I was striving to get all the skills on my tree up to level 5 before September, so it's been quite the setback, but of course it's better to learn more. My progress has been saved as well, perhaps these people just haven't scrolled the whole way down yet.

March 28, 2019

It's very much a "your mileage may vary" situation.

I preferred the shorter tree, where the verb tenses were addressed earlier and as specific skills (not embedded across several 'verb' skills). I liked it because most of my noun/adjective vocabulary acquisition is outside of DL and and I find that to be more effective. The classic post-it notes on everything in the house. Designating 30 minutes a day where I have to recall/learn the French word for the things I see in a room or place.

Short, funny story: One day the clerk at the grocery store had a good giggle with me - I was in the vegetable section naming everything in sight! It was amazing how much I needed to learn « brocolis », « courgette », « pois », etc etc etc. Good thing he didn't see me in the baking isle a few days prior: I burst out laughing in tears when I saw corn starch on the shelf - "good luck with that one!" is what I told myself.

I've done the same thing in the local hardware store. I also try to scoop up vocab by reading books, etc.

So for my process/learning style, the extra vocab and new strategy in the French tree12 tends to get in the way.

Which is the challenge when building one tool which will be used by many people, each with a different learning style/process, and with wildly different goals (travel? a profession? leisure?).

So it goes.

March 28, 2019

Linda, now that you’ve passed each checkpoint, if you bring your latest row of skills up to crown level 1, does that unlock a new row of skills?

March 28, 2019

Just show one thing that the new update upsets me:

I used to keep some courses UNFINISHED because I feel the need of more studies on them. I often go back to these courses to practice more but do not make then golden, so that I can easily find where I need to work more. Now, most levels are PURPLE now. I cannot find where I want to go.

The levels and colors are NOT just levels and colors.

March 28, 2019

You might want to try testing out of those purple levels. Just go from Level 0 to Level 1, about 10 minutes each. I had 50 of them in the middle of my tree and I'm about done with turning them all blue. I have learned some new vocabulary doing this, and I got a feel for the overall structure of the new tree. Next I'll use the tests to turn the easier ones gold, and start to do lessons the regular way on the harder ones where I can benefit from all that practice.

I don't know if this will help you, but I hope it does. If you have any questions, or just need some encouragement, feel free to ask. I'm feeling optimistic about the new tree and I hope some of the more advanced learners will feel good also, maybe after playing around with it some. Bonne chance!

April 4, 2019

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